Shopping and ADHD

I’ve got Christmas music playing on my radio; I’ve been listening to it since Saturday when the lite radio station in our area started playing it. The holiday season is upon us.

Of course, a big part of the holiday season is shopping. Lots and lots of shopping.

You’ve got food shopping for Thanksgiving and gift shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whatever holiday your family celebrates. Plus you might be shopping for new clothes for yourself or your family for special social events. Seems like every elementary school holiday production comes with clothing requirements.

Shopping can be an overwhelming experience when you have ADHD. The extra crowds and busyness in the stores this time of year just make things worse.

The prospect of shopping can be overwhelming by itself – even for something as mundane as grocery shopping. There are so many things to get, choices to make, price considerations – not to mention getting from one side of the store to another and realizing you forgot to pick something up in Aisle 2. Add a few kids into the mix and it’s a wonder why people think women love to shop.

I’ve got a few tips for you that might help you get through the next few weeks with a little less anxiety and frustration.

Grocery shopping
Plan a week’s worth of meals. Include things like breakfast and lunch – presumably your family eats then, too.

Write out a list of what you need to buy for the week. Don’t forget staples like toilet paper and bread.

Organize your list so that it makes shopping as easy as possible. If you know your store well enough, you can write your list according to where things are located in your store. Or check and see if they offer a store map; next time you’ll be better prepared.

Another way to organize your list is by what you’re buying. This is how I do mine. I have 6 categories: Produce, Dairy, Meat, Canned & Dry, Paper & Pets, and Frozen.

If you use coupons (I find them too confusing), highlight the items that have a coupon, or make a note of exactly what the coupon is for on the list.

Create a master list in your computer that you can print out each week; then just highlight or check off the things you need. Or do a search online; there are lots of sites that offer a printable list already done for you.

Next time: shopping for gifts.

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About Brenda Nicholson

I am an ADHD Expert, Coach, and Consultant. I want you to learn how to celebrate your life with ADHD too.

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